Ed Kilgore on Bachmann's 'Rough Road Ahead' Ed Kilgore points out in The New Republic that Michele Bachmann has very quickly risen from a fringe figure to a leading choice for the Republican presidential nomination. "But now that Bachmann is the real deal," he writes, "her candidacy is about to endure its toughest moments yet--including intensified scrutiny of her background and character (which is already very much under way), unrealistic expectations for her candidacy, a possible existential threat from Governor Rick Perry, and GOP elite misgivings about her electability." Bachmann is already handling criticism of her husband and her history of migraines well, but more scrutiny over her reported instability and relationships with extremist Christians will come. She must also manage heightened expectations of a win in Iowa, and Kilgore points to the neutrality of some important Iowa state figures as a sign that those expectations may be unrealistic. But the greatest threats Kilgore says are the prospect that Perry will enter the race, eating away at her support from social conservatives, and the continued skepticism of the Republican elite. These factors, Kilgore concludes, make up the "storm clouds ahead" for Bachmann. "She'd better batten down the hatches for a very rough ride."
The Los Angeles Times Opposes 'Caylee's Law' Sixteen states have introduced bills that would make failure to report one's child missing or dead a felony in the wake of the Casey Anthony verdict. "[W]hat's dismaying about the so-called Caylee's Law is that it criminalizes bad parenting," writes the Los Angeles Times editorial board. "It's not hard to imagine the result. There are all too many indigent and uninvolved parents in California, many with substance-abuse or mental health problems, who will end up in court if either bill becomes law, while their kids, who might have run away or gone to a friend's house for a day or two, will be more likely to end up in foster care." The law will thus cost the state money, and furthermore, the paper argues, will be unlikely to change behavior in cases like Anthony's. Anthony waited a month to report her daughter missing and, had a law such as this one been on the books, she would have perhaps served slightly more prison time, but there would have been no change to the verdict on her murder charges. "Obviously, people should report dead or missing children," the Times writes, "but if parents are responsible for their deaths, a new law won't compel them to do so."